University in talks to buy landmark Durham hotel

The Northern Echo: Three Tons Hotel maybe turned into student accommodation Three Tons Hotel maybe turned into student accommodation

A LANDMARK city centre hotel could be sold to the North’s leading university, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Durham University has confirmed it is in talks to take over the Three Tuns Hotel, on New Elvet, Durham City.

However, the University refused to disclose any details of its plans for the building, which dates back to the 16th Century.

Paulina Lubacz, the University’s acting registrar, said: “The University can confirm that it is in discussions to acquire the Three Tuns.

“We have no further comment to make at this early stage.”

The hotel is part of the Edinburgh-based Swallow group, which went into administration in September 2006 and was sold to F&C Reit Asset Management two months later.

The Three Tuns was put up for sale in 2008 and is now managed by Crerar Management Limited.

No-one at the Swallow group or the Three Tuns responded to The Northern Echo’s request for comment today (Monday, February 25).

It is believed about 20 people are employed at the hotel.

One worker, who did not wish to be named, said: “Our bosses won’t say anything. It (closure) would be very sad.

“The hotel’s tired and neglected. I would say it would need £3-4m to tidy it up.”

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Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “I will be meeting with Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, in the near future and I will raise the potential future of the Three Tuns with him then to try and ensure that all possible options are in the best interests of the city.”

Jonathan Lovell, chair of Elvet Residents’ Association (ERA), said: “If this property were to become student accommodation, ERA would welcome the possibility of reducing pressure on family housing being acquired by landlords in Elvet and elsewhere in the city.”

However, Mr Lovell also raised concerns about the building falling into disrepair.

The hotel has 50 bedrooms, a lounge bar and restaurant and conference facilities for up to 350 people.

The University’s Estate Strategy for 2011-20 makes no reference to the Three Tuns but does say the University wants to consolidate onto Durham’s Science Site and Bailey/New Elvet areas.

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Comments (3)

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11:54am Tue 26 Feb 13

Darlogirl1 says...

This is exactly what will happen the University will house more students and the town will get worse. I think this place needs to be looked at as on a lot of previous beautiful streets in Durham were private house owners have lived best part of their lives landlords have bought up the houses and put students in and it has destroyed once beautiful streets. The only way the home owners can get out of this rut is to then sell their own homes at a loss onto the landlords leaving everyone else behind to deal with it. Durham was a stunning place to live it will be interesting to see what comes of this hotel.....or Uni apartments flats...
This is exactly what will happen the University will house more students and the town will get worse. I think this place needs to be looked at as on a lot of previous beautiful streets in Durham were private house owners have lived best part of their lives landlords have bought up the houses and put students in and it has destroyed once beautiful streets. The only way the home owners can get out of this rut is to then sell their own homes at a loss onto the landlords leaving everyone else behind to deal with it. Durham was a stunning place to live it will be interesting to see what comes of this hotel.....or Uni apartments flats... Darlogirl1

2:12pm Tue 26 Feb 13

johnty says...

WHAT A SHAME TO SEE A HISTORIC HOTEL DISAPPEAR NOT JUST BECAUSE IT HOLDS MANY MEMORIES FOR ME AS A WORK PLACE A PLACE WHERE I ALSO LIVED SHAME SHAME SHAME
WHAT A SHAME TO SEE A HISTORIC HOTEL DISAPPEAR NOT JUST BECAUSE IT HOLDS MANY MEMORIES FOR ME AS A WORK PLACE A PLACE WHERE I ALSO LIVED SHAME SHAME SHAME johnty

4:40pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Joshua J says...

I don't see how this is not a good thing, the Hotel was nearly lost in 2008, this way the building will remain, Durham University with the funds at its disposal will no doubt repair the building and it will remain looking just as good as it has, if not better. Durham is still a beautiful place to live, and as for the effect of the students, without the 11,000 undergraduates and some 5,000 postgraduates and researches, I would question what state Durham would be in without such a large number contributing toward local businesses. Just look around Co. Durham at the likes of Bishop Aucland main street closing shops left, right and centre; a similar story to be said for Chester-le-street and you realise how dire the situation is.
I don't see how this is not a good thing, the Hotel was nearly lost in 2008, this way the building will remain, Durham University with the funds at its disposal will no doubt repair the building and it will remain looking just as good as it has, if not better. Durham is still a beautiful place to live, and as for the effect of the students, without the 11,000 undergraduates and some 5,000 postgraduates and researches, I would question what state Durham would be in without such a large number contributing toward local businesses. Just look around Co. Durham at the likes of Bishop Aucland main street closing shops left, right and centre; a similar story to be said for Chester-le-street and you realise how dire the situation is. Joshua J

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